The rhetorical Medicare wars have heated up this week, after President Obama declared in his Saturday radio address  that his proposed reforms “won’t touch your guaranteed Medicare benefits. Not by a single dime.”
This is incorrect. Obamacare cuts $716 billion  from Medicare over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and uses these “savings” from Medicare to fund other entitlement expansions mandated by Obamacare. Medicare becomes a cash cow for Obamacare, and the Medicare “savings” from payment cuts are not put back into making Medicare solvent. Such massive payment cuts do impact Medicare benefits, as well as seniors’ access to those benefits.
Heritage’s Alyene Senger explains how this hurts America’s seniors :
The impact of these cuts will be detrimental to seniors’ access to care. The Medicare trustees 2012 report concludes that these lower Medicare payment rates will cause an estimated 15 percent of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies to operate at a loss by 2019, 25 percent to operate at a loss in 2030, and 40 percent by 2050. Operating at a loss means these facilities are likely to cut back their services to Medicare patients or close their doors, making it more difficult for seniors to access these services.
The President also said on Saturday, “As President, my goal has been to strengthen these programs now, and preserve them for future generations.” But Obamacare imposes new taxes on present and future generations—including a hike in the Medicare “payroll tax ” affecting upper-income earners that doesn’t even go toward Medicare. Senger details :
The payroll tax funds Medicare Part A, the trust fund that is projected to become insolvent as soon as 2024. Obamacare increases the tax from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent, which is projected to cost taxpayers $318 billion from 2013 to 2022. However, for the very first time, Obamacare does not use the tax revenue from the increased Medicare payroll tax to pay for Medicare; the money is used to fund other parts of Obamacare, much like the $716 billion in cuts are.